The Trans Action Team has recently launched a new website for the transgender community in order to provide students with resources and education for transgender issues.
Garrett Hoffman, the creator of the website, arrived at MU as a graduate student in 2010 and had questions about available resources. As a member of the transgender community, Hoffman wanted to create a place where students, faculty and staff identifying as transgender could find answers to their questions and learn about helpful resources, inspired by a similar website he found last spring that University of North Carolina - Charlotte had created.
“For a student coming to Mizzou who is wondering if there will be a community and support for them in their transition or in their identity, this is a great place to start and indicates that trans people live and thrive here at Mizzou,” Hoffman said. “I hope this is a space for students to get support, information, resources and education.”
According to the 2009 campus climate survey, 57.1 percent of students who identify as transgender have experienced some form of harassment or discrimination.
“I believe that this (harassment) stems from a lack of education on trans identities,” Hoffman said. “Beyond just supporting the trans population at Mizzou, the website provides educational resources for students to learn more and break down prejudices and stereotypes.”
The new website also provides a place for students to give feedback on the transgender community and ways to improve the climate on campus.
“There are places for individuals to connect with us and we can funnel their questions, concerns or suggestions to the appropriate people,” Hoffman said.
Although Hoffman was the creative force behind the website, he said he used help and resources from his colleagues in the MU Student Life department.
“This website really represents a collaboration from departments all across the university,” Hoffman said.
Because the website is in its early days, Hoffman said he sees it growing into a place where more ally resources could be advertised, such as marketing trans-specific diversity training the Trans Action team puts on. With help from the LGBTQ Resource Center, the website ultimately works to build a sense of community between transgender people and the campus, he said.
“I hope to see even more collaboration and shared work between us here at MU LGBTQ and the members of the Trans Action Team,” Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Resource Center Coordinator Struby Struble said. “We’re glad to help in the building and implementation of the website, and are glad to continue the maintenance and hosting in the future.”